Lunar and Planetary Institute

Solar System

Activity: Drawing Conclusions: How Earth was Made

Children illustrate how the Earth formed based on the Native American story of the woman creating land from a handful of mud.

The Activity
Ask the children to think about the Native American story they just heard.

  • What happened in the story?
  • What does it explain about our Earth?

Invite the children to illustrate the Native American and science stories of how Earth came to be — or one aspect of the story. Older children can work individually or in groups to illustrate the science story. Illustration detail will depend on the age of the children.

Invite the children to create and illustrate their "own" story of how Earth formed.

Expand the types of materials available to include paint, tissue paper, glue, scissors, etc., so the children can make mosaics, mobiles, or sculptures to illustrate the stories.


More Activities


Ages 5 and up

What's Needed?
30 minutes or longer

What’s Needed?

  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers
  • Paper or poster board

Connections to the National Science Standard(s)

Standard E (grades 5–8) Communicate ideas with illustrations

Standard D (grades 9–12) Children understand that the Sun, Earth, and the rest of the solar system formed from a cloud of dust and gas 4.6 billion years ago. Early Earth was very different from the planet we live on today.